Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar CM; BJP to meet at 7 pm to discuss support for new govt

Nitish Kumar has resigned as the chief minister of Bihar. The Janata Dal (United) leader submitted his resignation to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Wednesday.

Bihar governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. Image courtesy PIB

Bihar governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. Image courtesy PIB

Earlier, JD(U) sources had indicated that Nitish Kumar might take a tough call, which would be consistent with his stated zero tolerance on corruption position in the days to come.

The RJD-JD(U)-Congress grand coalition has been under severe stress and there were enough indications that the Bihar chief minister is uncompromising on corruption charges even if it involves deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav and minister Tej Pratap. There is a substantive paper trail linking their involvement with benami properties and shell companies. On his part Lalu after the meeting of the RJD legislature party ruled out Tejashwi's resignation, asserting that Nitish never asked for his son's resignation. He even stressed that JD(U) is no police to whom he or his sons need to respond to on specific charges.

Under the circumstances, the question is not whether Nitish is going to act against Tejashwi and Tej Pratap but the question is of when? Whether this would happen today, tomorrow ahead of the Monsoon session of state assembly or in the weeks to come.

While no one has an idea as to why Governor Tripathi has extended his stay in Patna -- whether he has been requested by Nitish Kumar to be there in Raj Bhawan tonight or he had his own reasons to stay or it was just a casual decision which has no connection with the emerging political scenario in Patna.

Nitish has convened a meeting of the JD(U) legislature party on Wednesday evening and there he is expected to talk tough, consistent with the line he has so far taken on the issue. Whether he will drive to Raj Bhawan after that is a million dollar question.

As part of his renewed strategy, he did not hold his cabinet meeting which was earlier tentatively scheduled for Wednesday. The chief minister chairing a cabinet meeting ahead of the start of a state assembly session is a norm. But given the current situation, Nitish avoided even holding a cabinet meeting. All eyes are now on the outcome of JD(U) legislature party meeting.

On any other day, Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi's decision to stay overnight in Patna wouldn't have become a news, but with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar headed to meet the governor at his residence, speculations are galore across circles.

Tripathi is the governor of West Bengal and since the time Ram Nath Kovind resigned from the post of Bihar governor to contest the presidential election as the NDA candidate, he has been holding the additional charge of neighbouring Bihar.

Tripathi landed in Patna on Wednesday morning to preside over the convocation ceremony of Nalanda University and was otherwise scheduled to leave for Kolkata in the evening. Then there was a newsbreak that governor Tripathi was rescheduling his programme in Patna and was going to stay in the Bihar capital tonight and leave for Kolkata on Thursday. That has heightened speculations in the political quarters in Patna, both ruling and opposition.

Updated Date: Jul 26, 2017 18:45 PM

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